UNICEF UK works as part of an international network of national committees fundraising for humanitarian work focused on children. UNICEF UK is one of the highest performing members of the UNICEF family. A key part of their role is to deliver significant unrestricted income to the Geneva HQ for distribution to where is most needed globally.
But the humanitarian space is a competitive one. And that means UNICEF’s appeals have to stand out. This success story explores how =mc consulting helped UNICEF UK develop and roll out major campaign. A role we have continued to play in a partnership stretching over many years.
UNICEF relies on voluntary income to support much of its work. The serious sums needed require serious fundraising. UNICEF UK – already one of the most successful Committees – decided it was time to look at an underlying Case for Support approach in order to significantly increase its contribution to UNICEF’s work worldwide.
As a result of this decision, UNICEF UK asked =mc consulting to conduct a feasibility study into the viability of a specific appeal which combined volunteer-driven major donor fundraising and low level mass giving. To do that they needed a sophisticated and flexible case for support.
Most successful appeals have a clearly defined ‘shopping list’ of what the money is needed for. In other words, they ask for a specific amount of money in a specific time period to tackle a specific problem. The challenge for UNICEF UK was – and remains – twofold. First, the sheer scale of UNICEF’s operation. No other single organisation works in as many countries, or on as many different activities. Where should they focus their appeal? Second, as the key sponsors of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF are committed to working on children’s rights.. It was important to UNICEF UK that these rights were explicit in the appeal. But they recognised that a solely ‘rights-based’ appeal would make it hard to engage some donors.
Working in partnership, UNICEF UK and =mc consulting developed a broad campaign proposition that would do justice to the diversity and scope of the organisation’s work, articulating children’s rights, and inspiring and challenging donors to dig deep and make a real difference to the world’s children.
Working with staff focus groups we looked for broad strands that we could use to create an appeal proposition. It was the UNICEF UK directors’ focus group that began the process of ‘chunking’ the 54 Articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child into themes such as survival, development and participation. We also included material from a previous global project we had done creating guidelines for how UNICEF should tell empowering stories about the children it helps.
=mc took these themes and encapsulated them into an appeal proposition based on five promises to all the world’s children.
The ‘Promises’ were designed to do three things:
UNICEF UK used ‘Promises’ extensively in their public messaging, in direct response press inserts, direct mail campaigns, and on their website. It generated many new regular givers.
In addition to this, our recommendations were incorporated into their more long-term strategic plans for a volunteer-driven major donor campaign and fundraising more generally.
=mc consulting has worked with a number of agencies across a range of causes and disciplines on developing cases for support. You might want to explore the works we’ve done for British Red Cross, Hull University Wilberforce Institute, Sorbonne University (UMPC) Paris, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Refuge, The Children’s Trust, World Jewish Relief, Charles Dickens Museum and London Zoo.
We run training in developing cases for support worldwide.